2001-08-07 – Supply chain shorting

On TV is a new series, called \”The future just happened\”, which featured, amongst other things, in the first episode, a 15-year-old boy who has earned over $50,000 playing the stock market. The URL for the link is www.bbc.co.uk/future. The crux of the argument is that now, due to the power of technology, the years of experiance that you gained as a whatever now count for nothing, since I can get the answer for free in seconds, using the power of the internet. This is something I have been argueing for, for years. As time goes by, the use of those who know, as opposed to those who can do, or who create, is decreaseing at a rate of knots. As technology advances, doctors are finding that the patient often has as much or more data on what they believe is wrong with them, and stockmarket analysts and share market traders find that they are no longer the holders of the timely knowledge that lets them make the kill and the power play. The freedom of the information is killing off the very reason for their highly paying jobs. Where, then, does the human go to? Our traditional jobs as ditch diggers and grain planters have already gone forever, replaced by a single farmer on a tractor. Cotton farming and refining into the material we wear, and even the relatively complex task of weaving is gone to the machines. Now we see the cutting of the cloth done by lightning fast laser cutters and the sewing, while still done by humans, is done is under a minute on a sewing machine. The design is all we really have left, and once there are thousands and millions of designs, available for download from the internet, add a few hand tweaks, and press the \”build\” button, and who ever needs to iron again?
Where then will the designer go, and what of those who build these things? It would be relatively simple to buy a packet of the polymer monomers at the supermarket, plug them into the spinner machine at home, have the computer dose in the dyes, weave it and drop it on the hanger, pret-a-porté!

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